SAN JOSE — Erik Karlsson being acquired by the San Jose Sharks on Thursday sent a clear message to the rest of the team.
“This is the year,” forward Evander Kane said. “That has to be our mindset. You bring in a player like that, you look around the room, the type of players we have, our younger players getting better, bringing in a guy like Erik Karlsson, who’s a (two-time) Norris Trophy winner, having another Norris Trophy winner in Brent Burns in the back end, there’s really no excuses.
“It’s up to us to put it all together, put it on the ice, have a good season and, like I said, having that focus on not being satisfied with making the [Stanley Cup Playoffs] or going deep in the playoffs, but winning the Stanley Cup.”
The Sharks acquired Karlsson and forward prospect Francis Perron in a trade with the Ottawa Senators for forwards Chris Tierney and Rudolfs Balcers, defenseman Dylan DeMelo, unsigned forward Joshua Norris, a first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft or 2020 NHL Draft, a second-round pick in the 2019 draft, and two conditional draft picks.
Karlsson had 62 points (nine goals, 53 assists) in 71 games last season. The 28-year-old defenseman led Ottawa in scoring in each of the past five seasons and has 518 points (126 goals, 392 assists) in 627 NHL games.
“Getting the player we got today is just awesome,” Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said. “It’s a statement I think. We’re a team that’s right there, and I think he gives us for sure that extra credibility and that extra something that can win games at times.”
Karlsson won the Norris Trophy in 2012 and 2015 and has been named an NHL First Team All-Star four times (2012, 2015, 2016, 2017).